A prototype regenerable carbon dioxide absorber was developed to maintain the environmental quality of the portable life support system. The absorber works on the alkali metal carbonate-bicarbonate solid-gas reaction to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The prototype sorber module was designed, fabricated, and tested at simulated extravehicular activity conditions to arrive at optimum design. The unit maintains sorber outlet concentration below 5 mm Hg. An optimization study was made with respect to heat transfer, temperature control, sorbent utilization, sorber life and regenerability, and final size of the module. Important parameters influencing the capacity of the final absorber unit were identified and recommendations for improvement were made.